Chisbury Chapel sits high upon the steep
Chisbury Lane, which climbs for about a kilometre from the north-west
corner of Little Bedwyn. The chapel, a manor house, and farm buildings
were all built within the boundary of an unremarkable hill fort. The
chapel was built by the early thirteenth century, presumably by the lord
of Chisbury manor. It was known as St Stephen's Church in 1496,
and was served until 1547, when the chaplain's tithes passed to the Crown
The chapel later became a barn and by 1998 was in
a semi-ruinous state, although it has since been preserved. The building
is rectangular, built in rubble with ashlar dressings. Old rendering
survives inside and outside, and the scars of a screen between the
chancel and the nave can be seen on the rendering inside the building.
The north doorway survives from the thirteenth century, the south
doorway is nineteenth century, and the roof has largely been rebuilt.
St Michael's Church, Little Bedwyn, lies
at the northern end of Church Street, which itself is at the northern
end of this small village, adjoining School Lane. The parish, which now
includes Chisbury, was apparently part of a large estate called Bedwyn,
which in the early Middle Ages was held by the kings of Wessex and
England. Chisbury was separated from the estate in 778, and Little Bedwyn
in the twelfth or early thirteenth century. The church dates from
By 1405 it was known as St Michael's, built in flint
rubble and ashlar. It consists of a chancel with north vestry, an aisled
and clerestoried nave with south porch, and a west tower with stone spire.
The narrow nave and the arcades were built about 1200. The chancel and
nave were reroofed in 1841, and the church was extensively restored in
1868, at which time the vestry was added. The spire was dismantled and
rebuilt in 1963 after being struck by lightning.